Thanksgiving is just over a week away! We love this holiday because it’s all about celebrating our lives, the good and the bad, and taking time to reflect on and be thankful for the full human experience. To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of unique and fun five ways to give thanks for Thanksgiving. From getting your kids involved through a ‘thankful treasure hunt’ to paying it forward in your community with ‘essentials donation bags’, you’ll find unique ways for the whole family to ring in the holiday season and give thanks! 

Birdseye image of thanksgiving dinner table with people in each seat surrounding the table.

Handwritten Notes of Thanks
Celebrate Thanksgiving now with handwritten cards! Grab some stationary and write a quick note of thanks to important people in your life. Share what you love about them and why they are so important in your life. It will take just a few minutes to do this but will create a big impact for your loved ones! And, since you’re handwriting the card, your loved ones can save the note as a keepsake. Hand deliver them or drop them in the mail for a quick and easy way to share thanks and love this holiday season. Give it a try!

Thankful Dinner Cards
Like many of you, we have a big family dinner planned for Thanksgiving this year. Add a fun activity to dinner by creating thankful dinner cards. Have each person write a few things they’re thankful for on a card then put each card into a bowl. Once dinner is over, elect one person to read the cards aloud and take turns guessing who wrote each one. I love this option as an alternative to putting people on the spot to share what they’re thankful for—instead, each person can write what they want to share and one person reads all of the cards. Guessing who wrote each card makes it fun and lighthearted. Try it with your friends and family this year!

Essentials Donation Bags
The last couple of years we’ve added a donation or service project to our Thanksgiving holiday rituals. An easy and impactful project is to create donation bags full of essential products to pass out in your community. Add essential everyday items to each bag, things like: toothpaste, toothbrushes, granola bars, eye drops, deodorant, soap, water, crackers, etc. Pass these out to people in need in your community throughout the holiday season. You’ll help brighten someone else’s holiday season and will teach your family important lessons about giving back to the community. 

Thankful Rolls
Similar to a fortune cookie, the ‘thankful roll’ includes writing down what you’re thankful for and then baking it inside a food item. Try cutting out thin 1x3” strips of paper and inviting guests to share what they’re thankful for on each piece. Then wrap the paper in tinfoil to create a little ball. Carefully place each thankful note inside a piece of dough—then bake! You’ll have a fun twist on traditional rolls! During dinner, invite each guest to find their hidden message and read it aloud. Make it even more fun by trying to guess who wrote what.

Thankful Treasure Hunt
Last but not least, get your kiddos involved in Thanksgiving with a thankful treasure hunt. Have your kids write down what they’re most thankful for—typically, kids will list their favorite toys or specific items. Send them out on a treasure hunt to find their favorite things! For bigger kids, try having each kid swap lists with another one. The first one to find all of the items on their list wins a special surprise. Bonus: this keeps kids occupied while adults enjoy a nice dinner. Sounds pretty great right? ;)

A dad and daughter cut into a turkey sitting on a table full of thanksgiving dishes. The mom sits in the background watching and smiling.

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